In article <9m0mm...@drn.newsguy.com>, John says...
In todays AeroNews Best of Oshkosh Jim Campbell continues his many years patternI was embarrassed to see this on a page that also contains material I contributed. At OSH I met Chuck face-to-face. I discussed one of Jim's perennial
of attacks on Chuck Slusarczyk.
charges with him at great length, and Chuck carries a thick folder of documentation that refutes the charge. The customer in question (George Conn),
far from being the gentle victim that Zoom portrays, is anybody's idea of a customer from Hell. Chuck has literally a ream of correspondence on the Conn matter.
After discussing this I went back and had a long talk with Jim about it. Jim's
responce was essentially, (this is a paraphrase) "well, that's as may be, but Chuck's still prone to get slippery when he's under financial pressure..." and
he went on to cite his version of facts in a *different* case.
Here are the facts of the Conn case as I understand them. I have not talked with
Conn but I have seen lots of his correspondence. I have talked face to face with
Chuck Slusarczyk and Jim Campbell, *at length*, about the case:
* Chuck had sold out his company to investors during the first ul boom. Chuck was not a principal, owner, or even officer in the company; he was the designer
and the "airshow personality," but he had squatto to do with sales or business
at the time.
* George Conn bought a Hawk during a show (S n F?) from a DEALER. Dave Gremminger, who was that iteration of CGS's sales guy, was there, according to
the dealer. Conn claims Chuck was there but the dealer doesn't remember it that
way. Chuck for his part can't remember Conn. I think he is being 100% honest about that, and he was never there... I suspect Conn mistook Dave G. for Chuck.
* George Conn paid the dealer a deposit of between $2 and $3k - there is no proof that a dime of the money went to the manufacturer ("Old CGS"), there is no
proof that it didn't; the records of the dealer are incomplete, and he just doesn't know, and Chuck just doesn't know, either.
* an order was placed with Old CGS for the aircraft
* around this time, the 20/20 hatchet job and other things (perhaps including market saturation) evaporated the market. That version of CGS ("Old CGS") went
bust and so did the dealer.
* Conn never got his plane, and he never got his deposit back. He waited quite a
long time. He filed suit against (defunct) Old CGS in his state court, and won a
judgment by default when the nonexistent company never responded.
* Somewhere around this time Conn contacted Chuck. Chuck replied, in an honest
and businesslike letter, that he had no idea who Conn was but he'd try to get the records and determine what was what. At this point Chuck DID NOT EVEN HAVE
THE RECORDS of the defunct company. He started a new company, but it literally
took him years to get the records back.
* Conn, alrady feeling gypped (remember he has paid something, and got nothing),
interpreted the letter from Chuck, where Chuck (honestly, mind!) said he couldn't remember him, as an attempt to cheat him. Conn blows his stack.
* Conn does NOT help his cause by sending letter after letter to Chuck full of
wild allegations. Also "proof" documents that have been amateurishly doctored,
with sections blacked out like CIA FOIA documents, for christ's sake.
* Conn keeps sending bills with fanciful amounts of money to Chuck. "Interest"
* Conn has a jacket made with a slogan and his latest amount on the back. He poses wearing the jacket with four stern-faced guys (his sons?) pointing at the
number. He sends the photo to Chuck. Chuck interprets this as a threat of violence (I personally think that reads too much meaning into the stunt, but remember, that Chuck has been seeing increasingly weird behaviour from Conn. Conn has been a moving target).
* At some point Chuck gets the files and figures out what happened. He calls the
ex-dealer who remembers Conn. Chuck tries to make some kind of a deal with Conn.
* Meanwhile, Jim, who has had a spectacular but unrelated falling out with Chuck, discovers Conn. He believes Conn's story (he's already predisposed to be
down on Chuck). He seizes Conn as a handy stick to beat Chuck with and begins doing so.
* Enter Tony Pucillo. Tony negotiates a deal between Conn and Chuck. From Conn's
point of view it is a *very* sweet deal, particularly when considering that under the law Chuck and current CGS do not owe George Conn *a damn thing*. Conn
will wind up with a new Hawk -- a better and different machine from the one he
first tried to buy -- and he essentially gets credit for everything he *claimed*, some of it pretty loopy if you ask me. (Conn was getting according to
my understanding treble the cash value of what he put in. Nice deal if you can
* Conn balks at the deal. He gives up the chance to be more than made whole, which Chuck was doing NOT because he owed it to him but because he was willing
to grease a squeaky wheel, and goes pouting off into the distance. Jim writes this up as if CHUCK backed out and screwed Conn. Nosirreebob: Conn screwed himself. Ask Tony (if he can talk about this; not sure whether it's client privileged).
* Fast forward to 2001. Jim is still convinced that George Conn was this sweet,
innocent guy screwed by mean ol' Chuck, and he's still using him as a stick for
Trouble is, based on my look at the facts (the copious file that Chuck has which
he will I'm sure show any of you, and the stories that ran in US Aviator) Jim ought to let up. I tried to talk to Jim about this a good bit. (Hence "in your
face," I suppose). George Conn, I think, wants to be a martyr more than he wants
to have a Hawk. Dumb. Jim Campbell wants to beat on Chuck more than he wants to
look at the facts in this case. Dumb. There are other incidents where Chuck and
Jim present facts that are at variance with each other, but when you ask Jim what he has against Chuck it *always* gets back to Conn. Conn! More like Conn-job. Conn is not trying to rip anyone off per se, as he sees it he is a victim, but he definitely was a moving target as a customer, and could not be satisfied. As I see it George Conn is one of those guys who makes his own headwind in life, and he's so sure he's being screwed he winds up screwing himself.
Final note: this post presents the facts as *I recall* them, but I gathered them
secondhand from Jim, Chuck, and published materials. At least two of the people
*directly involved* are active in this group and I welcome corrections. cheers
Rule #3: Faith can move mountains. Your aeroplane cannot.
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